Mini-Bikes Prepare for Battle Against a Dragon on the Smokey Mountain Crawl


At 6’4″, I look like a gorilla straddling a tricycle on most motorcycles under 600ccs. It’s a cross I’m forced to bear. There are, however, a number of motorcycles I fit perfectly on (the KTM Super Duke 1290 R for instance — be on the lookout for a review on that coming soon). That said, no matter what manufacturer, I’d look even more ludicrous on any of the pint-sized entrants of the Small-Bore Smoky Mountain Crawl.

Twisting through the backwoods of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Townsend, Tennessee, those wishing to join the annual event are only allowed to bring mini-bikes like the Honda Grom and Kawasaki Z125, or scooters like the Yamaha Zuma and Honda Ruckus. To make matters even more ludicrous, the annual event will snake through one of the most notorious pieces of tarmac in the entire continental United States: the Tail of the Dragon.

The infamous road is only 11 miles in length, but features a Nürburgring -shaming 318 turns through the heavily wooded national park. Motorcycle riders have long flocked to the Tail of the Dragon to test their mettle and conquer the mighty serpent. A tree alongside the Dragon’s path even features the remnants of those who lost battles and lost parts. The small-bore boys and girls will have their work cut out for them.

The 2018 event is scheduled for June 8-10. The organizers are anticipating over 1,200 attendees, which not only would make the event the nation’s largest small-bore motorcycle event, but has to be one of the wildest sights to behold. Attendees are expected to not only flock from across the United States, but also the world as a few entrants are coming from Norway, Israel, and, Canada. Best yet, the event is free to attend — all you need is a mini-bike, some great gear (may we suggest these), and a healthy appetite for adventure and hilarity.

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